Julie Green is a twenty something self-confessed creative type, with her work involving photography, writing and art. Growing up near the Blue Mountains in Sydney Australia has definitely influenced her style of photography, which is mostly landscapes and beautiful moments in time between animals and their environment. Using mostly pencil and graphite in her drawings, her life-like portraits are definitely ones to be amazed at. Below we have a chat with Julie about what inspired her to take up photography and what she hopes to do in the future.
Hi Julie, how are you?
Hi there! I’m really well, busy and enjoying myself. It’s a beautiful day here. How are you?
EM: We’re good thank you!
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a twenty-something pocket-rocket and a recent uni graduate living in Australia. I grew up in quite a leafy-suburb on the outskirts of Sydney, the same place I live now.
Do you think living where you are has influenced your photographic style in any way?
Absolutely! When picturing my photographic style, think nature. When I look out my window, I see the trees hanging over the balcony, valleys below me and the Blue Mountains on the horizon. I’m visited by Rainbow Lorikeets next to my window most days (they’re here now actually). I used to bushwalk with my family when I was little and now I’m in my happy place every time I go hiking. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a big fan of Mother Earth and I love capturing natural events and candid images of people in their “natural state.” The editing I do to my pics is also very minimal.
How did you begin to fall in love with photography and art?
I’ve always had the creative bone; it’s in my genes. There are plenty of people in my family who can draw, paint or play guitar, and my mum’s uncle was a professional artist. I used to love painting and drawing as a kid and it wasn’t until more recently that my passion for photography was really born. My dad bought a decent SLR and I fell in love with it. I basically claimed it as my own. I’m in my element when I’m behind the camera or drawing a picture. I’ve only been trained in visual arts through school and most of my work is “self-taught,” although it’s been recommended to me to do a photography course, just to get greater technical awareness I ‘suppose.
What type of camera do you use?
Don’t judge (laughs), but my equipment is still on the “amateur” side of things. I use both an Olympus E-620 and a Canon 60D (none of which I’ve had to purchase, lucky me!). I’ve got my eyes on some upgrades though, at least some good-looking macro and portrait lenses.
What medium do you use for your drawings?
Mostly pencil and graphite. A lot of people comment on how nicely I’ve used charcoal in my drawings, when in fact I hardly use it!
What’s one or two of your favourite images you’ve created?
Many of my photographs look better to me at the time that I take them, but soon enough my new works take the place as my favourites. That’s only natural. One of my recent favourites is of a group of lorikeets perched together on a tree trunk and the morning light was perfect. It’s great when that happens. I also like when my experiments turn out, like a recent long-exposure I took during a stormy evening in East Queensland.
What do you enjoy most about photographing landscapes and wildlife?
Another tough question! There’s just so much that I enjoy about it. This is going to sound terribly vague, but I love the beauty of landscapes and wildlife. They’re so other to humans, if you get me; in many ways they’re not like us. I also enjoy the transience. It’s such a challenge to capture the essence of that but I enjoy it. Due to my interest in art, I also love the ‘art’ in nature.
What do you look for when you look into a lens?
As I mentioned in my previous answer, I love the art in nature and I try to keep the rules of composition (e.g. the rule of thirds) in my mind when I’m taking a photograph. I try to find an ‘artwork’ every time I look through the viewfinder. I watch the way light falls on a subject and I like to capture vibrant colours, interesting shapes and movements (although they’re harder to catch). The beauty of photography is capturing the transience of our lives.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I was trying to explain to my friend the other day that I don’t think I have ‘spare time,’ because I try to use every moment for things that I love or that I’m passionate about because they’re necessary for my wellbeing and (hopefully) even the wellbeing of others. These things include bush walking, socialising, weight-training, watching films, writing for Oxfam’s GROW campaign (to change the broken food system), and keeping creative projects, including my writing and photography at www.juliegreenart.com. There are some activities that I’d love to do more often, like camping, travel and non-profit/charity work. I’m also trying to read more.
What has been one of the best experiences you’ve had whilst out photographing?
I’m going to sound like a hobby-photographer when I say this, but many of my better photographs have been on holidays or out bushwalking, when I can relax and enjoy the moment fully.
However, I’ve learnt to conquer some huge fears and break down barriers in my mind when I’ve been out hiking and simply experiencing nature (while taking photographs), and these experiences certainly contribute to who I am. I don’t have a great anecdote to share with you, unfortunately, I just enjoy the peace I feel when I’m photographing the things that I do, and I love those moments when I capture a bee mid-flight or a lorikeet flaps its wings for the camera. It’s the simple things!
What are 5 things you wish you had been told before beginning photography?
Don’t touch auto!
Learn manual straight away and be patient with it
Don’t compare yourself to other photographers, but do be inspired by them
In five words or less, summarise what your entire collection of work is about…
Keeping nature in our sights.
Julie’s social media and website links are below: Thanks for the interview Julie!